Four cars were involved in an accident on the MacArthur Causeway early Thursday afternoon, which sent four people to the hospital and shut down eastbound traffic, including the PortMiami tunnel, for several hours.
The four people did not have life-threatening injuries, according to Detective Vivian Thayer of the Miami Beach Police Department. Two crash victims were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, while the other two were taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Police do not yet know the cause of the 1:45 p.m. accident, which occurred by the intersection of MacArthur Causeway and Terminal Island. Several hours later, the causeway was still closed, with traffic being re-routed through Star Island, according to the police department’s Twitter page.
Eastbound approaches to the PortMiami tunnel — which runs from the MacArthur Causeway under Biscayne Bay into the port and is the main conduit for cargo trucks — were shut down soon after the accident.
The tunnel was not involved in the accident and wasn't damaged. But Florida Department of Transportation officials asked tunnel administrators to shut down the approaches to help keep traffic off the MacArthur Causeway. The outbound tunnel lanes from the port were not affected, said tunnel spokesman Chris Hodgkins.
The accident caused traffic not just on the causeway itself. Cars on artery streets surrounding the causeway, near Biscayne Boulevard, reported being stuck in up to three hours of traffic. Tempers were flaring on the jammed up streets, with drivers honking and cutting each other off, and cars getting stuck in intersections.
Thayer said police hoped to reopen the causeway within one to two hours.